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The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust

Released on Vice Records, 2/19/2008

This is what I like to happen when I turn on the radio: I check 107.7 The Bone and immediately bust out the air guitar until they dare spin something unfortunate and grunge-y from the early to mid-90s, at which point I switch to Live 105 to see what the kiddies are consuming. Usually I can only stand a few minutes of Linkin Park or The Bravery, but every once in a while the sweet, sweet sounds of System of a Down enter the airwaves and I am satiated for the time being.

Let me be clear, I do not enjoy the music and could definitely be spared the theatrics and overly commercialized political lyricism, but I’ll tell you what, I love me some good harmonizing. And those two fellas, Daron and Serj, could give The Everly Brothers a run for their money in that department. Knowing nothing of The Raveonettes and judging them solely by their name and appearance I expected some type of blues-based electro-garage. But, upon listening to their latest release, Lust Lust Lust, I breathed a sigh of relief, which I then harmonized with a parallel third.

Originating from Copenhagen in 2001, guitarist, vocalist, producer Sune Rose Wagner and bassist, vocalist Sharin Foo have created an upfront and blazoned approach to honoring their musical influences. The band name is a direct reference to and combination of the Buddy Holly Track “Rave On” and the sixties girl group The Ronettes. The rock and roll and doo-wop influences are obvious, especially in the first two tracks, “Aly, Walk With Me” and “Hallucinations”, from the chord progressions to the heart beat style drums, to the guitars laden with reverb and virtually ear-splitting amounts of treble.

But The Raveonettes’ sound advances far beyond the three-minute pop songs of their mentors. While the ever-present vocal harmonizing and lullaby-style classical rock progressions sooth and placate our musical consciousness, Wagner and Foo seem to have mastered the art of noise infiltration as well. This is why Lust Lust Lust, and presumably this band as a whole, is successful. They are able to constantly maneuver the listener’s comfort level gently and skillfully.

Sure, there is a decent amount of smooth pop all over this album, but there is also a thick layer of avant noise reminiscent of The Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, and Suicide. Their songs also tend to reference to the 60s psychedelic movement such as pioneers The United States of America. Songs like “The Beat Dies” and “My Heartbeat’s Dying” seem to embrace the somber side of the later sixties in both musical experimentation and political climate.

While at times the high-end on the album can become slightly piercing and the repetitiveness slightly tedious, Lust Lust Lust is strong and impressive, a heady and thoughtful approach to modern rock.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars